Refract : REFLECT is an experiential installation of architecture, local Indigenous narratives, and the natural elements of light, sound, ice and snow. As ice turns back into water, the tectonic ice plates collide to create a geometry of form, light and shadow; creating an intimate gathering space for viewers to contemplate, interact and meet. Deeply rooted within its context, the natural phenomena of the ice jamming effect is shaped by shards reaching out of the lake by the seemingly forces of nature, while providing sight lines to the nearby Manitou Islands, Nipissing First Nation and the downtown of North Bay.
Community collaboration is celebrated as local knowledge holder, Carol Guppy and Artist Amanda Bellefeuille from Nipissing First Nation share their stories of the significance of the bear, moon cycle and its relationship to this territory. Generated from Amanda’s beadwork, the projected images were fabricated and installed by local community members and artists. The ever-changing filtered winter light penetrates through the perforated holes, creating a cinematic shadow dance of these stories into the vibrant interior of each structure.
As natural acoustics from the wind and voices can be heard through the shelter, viewers are encouraged to stand, sit, crawl and lie down to get the full embodied experience of space and time. At night, the installation transforms into a beacon of refracted light as the vibrant interior provides a sense of warmth, evoking memory, while absorbing the hues of the sunset. Winter is a special time to reflect, gather, and share stories of where we live, who we are and how we are all connected to the land.
Refract: REFLECT will be open February 15th to 29th, just off the shore of Marathon Beach at the North Bay Water Front.
This installation was a part of Ice Follies 2020 -a festival of site specific art on the frozen Lake Nipissing.
Thank you to the Canada Council for the Arts for making Ice Follies 2020 possible!